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New design for Seattle arena aimed at attracting an NBA team

Cost overruns and a revised construction schedule for the new arena were discussed Monday during a Seattle committee meeting.

NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke discussed with Seattle council members the status of the $930 million arena project and revised construction schedule on Monday. 

Advance documents showed the KeyArena site has already radically changed, with “staircases to nowhere” and a deconstructed seating bowl.

The cost has gone up on the project. Combined with the headquarter and training facility at Northgate Mall, along with the purchase of the expansion franchise, the private investment is close to $1.7 billion.

Construction costs have increased by more than $200 million. Original estimates pegged the total at $600 million. The rising costs were, at least partially, due to labor and renovation design.

Lead investor Jerry Bruckheimer attended Monday's council meeting. 

"It's actually happening, which is exciting for the city and for us, and for all the sports fans," Bruckheimer said. 

David Abrams, a consultant hired by the city to review the projects and finances, testified that he is comfortable with the ability of the Oak View Group and NHL Seattle to cover the costs.  

"Certainly the price tag is more than we thought, but our owners have not cut one corner," Leiweke said.

Bruckheimer and Leiweke also said that the New Arena at Seattle Center is being constructed with the NBA in mind.  

"We will get an NBA team here also. And that's an exciting part of the project for all of us, to bring a team back here," Bruckheimer told the council.

During a previous interview with KING 5, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he is not concerned about the construction timeline. 

Also announced at the meeting was the plan for a three-rink training facility at Northgate Mall. Leiweke expects to break ground in January. Read more about that here.

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